So! Last night we went to see Anthony Bourdain, and he definitely exceeded our expectations. I would hands-down recommend going to see him if he comes anywhere close to you (unless you’re squeemish about profanity or easily take offense to jokes about vegetarians). Shaking his hand was a fantastic moment – and, by the way – he did have a recommendation for what to order at Les Halles. “Steak frites, man. It’s a working class place.” Done. I can’t wait to try it.
Tony’s talk was hilarious- we were laughing most of the time he was up there. We tried to jot down some of the best quotes, and we’ll be sharing those with you over the next few weeks/months. For today though, I want to focus on how the evening shaped our understanding of food, and consequentially, our blog as well.
For anyone who hasn’t seen his show or read his books- Anthony Bourdain has opinions, and he’s not afraid to share them. Among the many gems of wisdom, one of the points that really affected us was the idea that people who love food use it as a means to separate themselves from others. When we talk about going to a great restaurant, are we really sharing it because we love it, or because it makes us ‘more in the know,’ or somehow just a little bit classier than someone who hasn’t been? From sustainability to gourmet tasting menus, there’s a fine line between enthusiasm and snotty bragging.
It’s ironic that food, of all things, is sometimes being used to separate people. The corollary to this point was that food should be just the opposite- food matters because of the story it tells and the people who you share it with. Great food is something to respect, to be sure, but food fanaticism often misses the real point behind why we value it.
So – we hope our blog does just that: we hope that when we talk about what we cook, it’s in the interest of respect for food that tells a story and brings people together. We love food, we have fun with it, and we hope that we don’t ever lose sight of the real reasons why.
If you’re tired of the rambling, we’ll make this worth your while. Or, more appropriately, Tony will. Here’s his recipe for Steak au Poivre from the Les Halles Cookbook. We had it when Averil came to visit as a special meal, and we definitely encourage you to try it:
(this is the plated version of the hanger steak from yesterday’s picture)